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China to sanction Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon over Taiwan arms sales

BEIJING (Axios): China plans to impose unspecified sanctions on Boeing, Lock-heed Martin, Raytheon and other U.S. companies involved in weapons sales to Taiwan, Reuters reports, citing a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman.

The Trump administration last week notified Congress of an additional $1.8 billion in proposed arms sales to Taiwan. Chi-na’s recent military exercises and the buildup of forces along its southeastern coast have renewed fears of an invasion of Taiwan, which Beijing views as a breakaway province that must be brought under its control.

The proposed sanctions mark a continued tit-for-tat escalation between Washington and Beijing, as China institutes measures that parallel U.S. attempts to contain Chinese firms it deems a security risk.

Amid heightened tensions this year over Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus, its crackdown on Hong Kong, trade practices, and human rights abuses in Xinjiang, the Trump administration has stepped up its support for the democratic Taiwan with arms sales and visits by high-level U.S. officials.

“To safeguard our national interests, China decided to take necessary measures and levy sanctions on U.S. companies such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing Defence, and Raytheon, and those individuals and companies who behaved badly in the process of the arms sales,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lijian said.

Over the weekend, China released a video simulating a military invasion of Taiwan, the latest in a recent series of saber-rattling propaganda videos targeting Taiwan.

The video came as Taiwan celebrated its National Day on Oct. 10, which marks the founding of the Republic of China, whose government fled from mainland China to Taiwan in 1949 amid a civil war. Taiwan is a full-fledged democracy that has flourished for decades despite the ever-present threat of forced unification with China. The Chinese Communist Party views Taiwan not just as a major crack in its territorial integrity, but also as an ideological threat — Taiwan is living proof that democracy is compatible with Chinese culture and society.

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